Watchdog orders nightclub probe

The general inspector of public administration, Leandros Rakintzis, has reportedly called for an investigation into the workings of City Hall’s municipal committee responsible for issuing operating licenses to nightclubs after it emerged that one establishment in the district of Pangrati had been operating in spite of a series of court decisions ordering its license to be revoked. According to sources, at the beginning of this week Rakintzis ordered state inspectors to look into the way licenses are issued by municipal authorities after learning about the club in Pangrati. The establishment appears to have been operating for years even though an Athens court had issued 18 rulings calling for its license to be revoked. In addition, a total of 16 official complaints have been lodged at the local police precinct by citizens bothered by the live music played on the premises. Despite all this, Kathimerini has learned, municipal officials decided against revoking the Pangrati club’s license even though the owner of the establishment had allegedly submitted to the committee several forged court decisions overturning previous rulings. The municipal committee reconvened on September 29 – not to decide whether or not to close down the venue but to examine an appeal by the owner to transfer the operating license to another company, an apparent attempt to erase the dubious track record of the primary business. The proceedings were interrupted by protesting residents, pressing the committee to revoke the club’s license, and are to resume on October 13. Kathimerini also understands that City Hall’s legal department had noted in July that the Pangrati club’s license «ought to have been revoked a long time ago.» The department said the whole affair «called into question the proper functioning of municipal bodies and services.»

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